What is a Quickie Divorce?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

A quickie divorce is an expedited divorce process allowed in some regions. By relaxing residency requirements and giving extended powers to attorneys, certain states and countries can provide divorcing couples with a quick process that avoids the hassle of in-court battles. Typically, quickie divorces are only available in cases where both parties agree to all terms of the divorce and there are no minor children involved. Even in these cases, many legal experts recommend consulting a local attorney to ensure that the quickie process will be considered legal and valid.

Las Vegas is known for quickie divorces.
Las Vegas is known for quickie divorces.

Divorce can be a financially and emotionally devastating process, with some cases dragging on for years before being settled. Even in cases where there are relatively few assets and no child custody issues, divorce commonly takes months or even years to finalize. A quickie divorce can alleviate financial obligations to lawyers as well as minimize the time between filing and finalization. Some quickie cases can be finalized in less than a month, allowing the newly divorced individuals to move on with life as quickly as possible.

Some quickie divorces include child custody and spousal support.
Some quickie divorces include child custody and spousal support.

Only certain areas have the necessary statutes needed to grant a quickie divorce. Reno and Las Vegas, both in Nevada, are famous quickie divorce capitals. Reno offers a residency requirement of only six weeks, meaning that at least one participant in the divorce must sign legal documents or provide proof that they have been in Nevada for six weeks prior to filing papers. As long as both parties sign the legal documents agreeing to all terms for the divorce, finalization can occur in days or weeks. Countries that provide quickie divorces also include the Dominican Republic, which requires a one-day residence before papers can be filed.

In the modern era, paperwork for a quickie divorce is typically handled through email or fax. Forms can often be filled out online, and signed electronically or faxed with a signature. Check forms carefully to see if notarization is required on any documents; if so, local phone books and Internet search engines can easily turn up local public notaries who will witness the signing for a fee.

There is an established history of quickie divorce scams, suggesting that extreme caution be taken when using a fast divorce service. Do research before sending in forms or handing over financial information; many legal experts recommend checking local statutes or having at least one consultation with a lawyer to prevent being exposed to fraud. Some regions may also have laws regarding the recognition of quickie divorces; checking local and regional laws can prevent having to file for divorce twice.

A quickie divorce can be a fast way out of a failing marriage, but does entail risks such as fraud. It is typically recommended for people with little or no property, assets, or investments to divide. Although some quickie divorce regions include child custody or spousal support clauses, penalties for violating these clauses may be harder to get enforced by a regular court.

Quickie divorces usually occur when both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce.
Quickie divorces usually occur when both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments


I am a firm supporter of most things that eliminate or limit the need for lawyers, judges, clerks and legal fees. I find it ridiculous, that we have to involve lawyers in personal matters we can handle ourselves, except for the presence of legal system that needs to be fed.

Countries that offer quick uncomplicated divorce filing are doing a great service, as far as I am concerned.


Quickie divorces make it too easy for couples to walk away from marriages. So what if you have to wait a year to get divorced? Maybe that waiting period will give people a reason to think harder and longer before they marry.

When children are involved I feel even more strongly that do-it- yourself divorces and quickie divorces should not be allowed.


I have often heard negative comments about quick divorces. Some people are displeased that a couple would end a marriage so casually. However, a quick divorce doesn't mean that the decision to end the marriage was not given a lot of thought.

Sometimes, situations don't work out, and they should end because that's what's best for everyone involved. Count me in favor of the quickie divorce.

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